The Spanish coastguard has reported that it picked up 600 African invaders who crossed the less than 10 miles of sea between that country and Morocco in 15 vessels—including toy paddleboats and a jet ski— in less than 12 hours on Wednesday, August 15, 2017.One of the boats intercepted off the Spanish coast on August 15, 2017.
The African invasion focus of Europe is steadily moving, as the invasion focus moves to Iberia following the effective closure of the Italian invasion route.
According to the El Pais newspaper, authorities say this is the largest figure in a single day this year, and that numbers are rising.
Most are sailing across the seven-mile Strait of Gibraltar and many are choosing cheap, child-sized paddle boats without motors that allow them to bypass people smuggling networks and their fees.
Some of the invaders are even using social media to contact the Spanish authorities and inform them of their location once they are in territorial waters, the BBC reported.
Up to July 18, the number of migrants to make it to Spain by sea had risen to 7,547, from a total of 10,751 who had made it into Spanish territory by other means, mainly by crossing the borders at Ceuta and Melilla, in Morocco. This was a 104.2% increase on the same period in 2016.
In a report published earlier this week, Frontex, the EU’s border agency, said 2,300 invaders made it to Spain in July, more than four times as many as a year earlier. The number of nonwhites invading Spain in the first seven months were “around 11,000, already exceeding the number for all of 2016.”
The increase in crossings means Spain could overtake Greece this year in the number of migrants arriving by sea, the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) said earlier this month.